Uncontrollable body functions after colon surgery: Is this normal?
I had ten inches of my colon removed in June, 2022 because of colon cancer. All tests show the cancer has not spread. However, now five months later, I still have very little control over urinating and bowel movements. Is this normal? If so, when can I expect to get the control back?
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Hello @eom and welcome to Mayo Connect. First, I'd like to congratulate you on your surgery and knowing that there was no spreading of the cancer. That is good news. I can understand, though, the frustration you must feel after five months and still not having control over urinating and bowel movements. That does limit your life and create problems.
I wonder if you have discussed this with a physician recently. If not, please do so. You can contact the doctor's office by phone or through the patient portal.
Here are some good questions to ask: What type of diet should you be following? For example, are you currently having three regular sized meals or are you eating small, frequent meals. Are there certain types of foods or drinks that are triggers? After I had two surgeries of the upper digestive tract, I got a referral to a registered dietician (RD). These are dieticians who have been trained to help people find an eating plan to deal with various health problems, including post-surgery difficulties.
You might also ask your doctor to a referral to a pelvic floor therapist (PFT). There are physical therapists who specialize in these types of problems. They can help you with diet as well as exercises that will help you gain more control over urination and bowel movements.
Will you address some of these questions with your doctor and see about getting a referral for some additional help?
I've only been post- op for a week but suffering a bit from diarrhoea. The advice I received today was to reduce fibre and increase stodgy food such as porridge, boiled rice and boiled / mashed potatoes. Hope this helps.
Luckily, no urination issues but hope you improve on both counts.
Thank you Martin. The oncologist actually prescribed a fiber supplement so I was surprised when you said you were advised to reduce fiber. I love rice and also potatoes so was pleased to see those suggestions.
Best of wishes to you for a quick recovery and thanks again for the reply.